The contact center market has evolved from a premise-based architecture to cloud and now to a platform.
Twilio API Contact Center
Let’s talk this diagram through…Premise-based is where the industry has been for decades and how most existing systems are today. This deployment model is now out of favor and rarely deployed in new installations. Cloud-based systems came on the scene perhaps 10-15 years ago and over the last 5+ years have become the norm for new deployments. They tend to deploy quickly, have come close to feature parity of on-premise systems and are typically priced as a monthly subscription service versus a large capital outlay.
New on the scene is the building block concept of contact centers being championed by Twilio and Amazon. In this model, the core functions of things like making a call or sending a text message have been abstracted out of the product and are available via API calls. This means telecom engineering and vendor management has been taken off the plate of customers and vendors that are using this new approach. Some contact center vendors have jumped on this new bandwagon and are making a complete contact product. Certainly, this is interesting and allows these vendors to come to market faster and lower their development costs. However, they are still making a product.
What is the problem with making or buying a product?
Do products typically meet 100% of a customer’s wants and needs? Of course not. What happens when a new feature request is made of a product manufacturer? It is placed on the list but not all requests can be honored. It does not make sense for a product company to add a feature that only a small minority of customers want or need. So what happens? More features are added over time and products become bloated. (How many thousands of features are in Microsoft Word?) However, virtually no product can ever meet the last 10-15% need for each customer’s need. Almost by definition, it cannot be achieved.
For some, the answer is a 100% custom solution. Certainly one can get the perfect product if you have an unlimited budget, a very long lead time and the ability to hire specialized staff to support your beautiful creation for many many years to come.
What would happen if a company made a hybrid? An out of the box contact center solution that meets 80% of the needs of any contact center and then can be cost-effectively customized for EVERY customer to give them that last 20% to meet the unique needs that most everyone has. That is what Intelligent Service has done using the building blocks of Twilio and Amazon Web Services.
We blog about this topic frequently. To get new posts when they occur please sign up for our blog. Fonolo has also created some excellent blog content on this subject of API based contact centers as well.
Outsource Call Center
No one makes a contact center system designed specifically for the call center outsource marketplace. Until now. Here are some capabilities we have that speak specifically to your needs as an outsource call center.
Agent ease of use – How fast can you train an agent?
High agent turnover is a constant challenge for any BPO call center. (Business process outsourcer) Lowering turnover is a priority but onboarding new agents quickly will always be a need. The goal is getting new agents on the phone within minutes/hours if possible. By making the agent screen(s) as simple as possible training time is reduced. Our agent screen is 100% customizable. You can now present ONLY the options needed. No more screen clutter.
Agents work from the same screen to service different customers
A typical challenge of BPO call centers is that each customer has their own system so agents must toggle between different customer management screens. Whether the screen presents automatically or the agent must toggle between windows/tabs, the problem is the same. Agents must learn a different screen/process for every customer. This slows down agent training and slows down call time.
What if the same screen could be presented to the agent every time but with the correct customer data?
Imagine how much faster an agent could be trained and what impact this would have on average handle time?
Real-time dashboards that easily show statistics on a per campaign basis
Many systems are designed to show real-time stats for the center as a whole. Things like ASA, Service Level and Longest Hold Time. In the outsourcer world, these statics blended across all your customers are not very useful. Most BPO’s are looking for statistics on a per campaign/customer basis. On the right is a screenshot of our “out of the box” real-time dashboard.
Instant scalability – up or down.
Sometimes a new opportunity is offered if you can handle significant traffic in hours, not days or weeks. Adding capacity quickly with a premise-based system is not typically not possible. Even a cloud-based system will usually be challenged provisioning new numbers and significant new traffic instantly.
We can provision a number in real time, build agents immediately in software and take calls in a browser right now.
Ability to customize
Each customer of the BPO contact center will have unique needs. A contact center product (premise or cloud) will always have cost or functional limitations on the ability to customize. Our platform is built to deliver the 80% feature need that everyone has and then the ability to easily customize the last 20% to give you a system tailored to your specific needs at an affordable price point.
We blog about the outsource call center market frequently. To get new posts when they occur please sign up to receive our posts.